With Chanukah Approaching, My Knee Hurts
By DAVID KLINGHOFFER - BELIEFTNET
Added: Wed, 09 Dec 2009 00:00:00 UTC
Because of my sore knee, it follows that there this is no God.
You think I'm kidding but this line of reasoning is commonly heard from devotees of evangelizing atheism like Richard Dawkins. It's the argument from seemingly poor, botched, or suboptimal design. Yet the Hebrew Bible alerts us early on that creation is afflicted with a "lack" or "deficiency" (chesron), as Jewish philosophy terms it. The Maharal, whom we talked about recently, discussed this theme in his book on Chanukah, Ner Mitzvah, which is why I mention it now. Chanukah arrives this coming Friday night.
The human knee appears to be ill-suited to its task, hence the prevalence of knee pain, similar to that of back pain, and so on. I've had trouble from this recurrent minor soreness, brought on by running. So here's a website devoted to cataloguing instances of apparently faulty designs like my knee that, so goes the argument, a creator would not allow in his creatures.
That is a theological argument, not a scientific one, based on the premise that Dawkins & Co. know what a God would or wouldn't do if that God existed which he does not. As Dawkins writes in The Greatest Show on Earth, regarding the extravagantly lengthy and circuitous recurrent laryngeal nerve of the giraffe, "Any intelligent designer would have hived off the laryngeal nerve on its way down, replacing a journey of many meters by one of a few centimeters." Atheists think they've discovered a devastating "Ah hah! Gotcha!" sort of a response to religious believers who, it's assumed, never realized that nature has a certain painful lack of perfection built into it.
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